I sat with a friend last night giving him some basic pointers for running his Facebook page. We talked about posting and the kinds of things he can and should be posting about. I explained that by giving away free pieces of information he will naturally draw a crowd to his page because he will be providing information to them that is helpful and timely. I suggested that he take the questions he asks most and turns them into posts and that he should decide upon a posting schedule and stick to that faithfully so as not to give the impression to potential clients that he does not finish what he starts. He is just getting his business off the ground and thankfully he sees the benefit of utilizing social media, at least Facebook, to reach out to prospects and clients alike. One thing I was sure to review with him, as a newbie social user, was the insights page. As a new business user to Facebook, he didn’t even know that this existed. His eyes were as wide as saucers as I reviewed everything from page summary information showing engagements, likes and followers to how to see the age and gender gap for his followers as he adds them. I could smell the smoke as his brain began churning over how he would use this great tool. He began formulating how and when he would incorporate the details revealed here to maximize the ROI for the least amount of time away from his business. As a new business he wears many hats so he doesn’t have an abundance of time to spend trolling the internet for information. Things I take for granted like looking to similar industry pages for ideas and following partners and clients will easily help fill in the gaps. He however, never thought to utilize the very tool he was trying to master to find what he needed. Cue the climax music because my message had hit home and the seeds of creativity had definitely began to root. I did my job. Like my friend, for anyone just jumping in to this stuff, it can be overwhelming. Not knowing the tools you have at your fingertips that are designed to help you better understand your audience make up, days and times that your page is visited and even the types of posts that work best can be a huge disadvantage. The insights are available just like Google Analytics to help you dissect what you are sharing, to whom, when and in what medium it is being presented. You might get lucky and just have a knack for knowing what to put out there or perhaps your product sells itself and people just can’t get enough of it. That is possible but more than likely you will need all the help you can get to understand how to get the attention of the people you look to serve. If you aren’t utilizing Analytics for Facebook, take some time to review where you stand. It might just give you the insight you need to get a leg up on your competition.
I came across a situation recently that stopped me in my tracks. Not because I did not know that you should not do this but more so because I should share it with you. I take it for granted not to do stuff like this and have never done it, but,it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
In this grand and sometimes complicated game of social media, it’s pretty much a given that all posts if they are not video, must have a picture included. There are many reasons for this, most of which have to do with wow factor, intrigue and attention grabbing. Since we began using the internet to engage with our clients we have evolved from the basic posts to GIF’s and graphic attachments as a device to make us louder in the deafening and level playing field known as the Internet. Not everyone jumped on board right away so some were late to the game and a little behind the eight ball in learning the do’s and don’ts of social etiquette. It’s pretty much how we as humans learn.
When it comes to utilizing pictures with your posts for your business or even selecting pictures to use on your website you should use pictures that help to clearly convey what it is exactly that you do. We sell auto insurance and when we post about auto insurance we use pictures of cars. When we talk about benefits we use pictures of happy families and if it’s a blog about wedding insurance we use pictures of wedding rings, a bride and groom or something that makes sense. People understand what we do when they come to our website in part because we use the right pictures to help convey the message. Everyone wants to stand out on the Internet over the masses of others doing the exact same thing we are doing. If we don’t should louder than the the rest we won’t be as likely to catch the eye of prospects.
NOT using the right pictures can be a big problem especially in the insurance industry when it comes to taking out a new policy for your business. You want to stand out but you should do so in the right way and for the right thing. If insurance companies need to research you before they insure your company they will go to your website & your social media pages. This will help them decide if you are a risk they can or want to insure. For example, if you build buildings then you shouldn’t have much trouble clearly and accurately conveying what you do. Use pictures of buildings in all stages of the construction process. IF however your business makes decorative pieces that adorn a building or a marine vessel, such as gold pull handles or maybe even dental molding or you make hub caps for luxury vehicles, the photos you use on your website should clearly show those items and not the product they accessorize. If the insurance company cannot tell what exactly you do or is confused by what you say and depict that you do, you may find yourself in a pickle when trying to get your insurance bound.
If you aren’t sure about how you are portraying yourself, ask someone who isn’t in the business or give your agent or one of our FBinsure Risk Advisors a call for help
Employees often write posts about the company on social media sites. Do I have the authority to monitor this and discipline an employee if negative comments are made, even though it’s outside of working hours?
An employee’s right to comment on his or her employer may be protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Provisions of this act, such as the right of employees to discuss, question or criticize their terms and conditions of employment, extend to unionized and non-unionized workers.
Under the NLRA, if an employee is addressing group concerns or is acting on behalf of others, those activities are protected and employers may not take disciplinary action against the employee. This protection extends to social media posts and situations where employees have commented on or “liked” co-workers’ online posts made during or outside of working hours.
However, this protection does not apply to outrageously disgraceful or shameful conduct and reckless or maliciously untrue communications. In addition, individuals are not protected by the NLRA when they act in their own interests or address purely personal complaints.
To avoid violating NLRA protections for employees using social media, employers should adopt policies that are narrowly tailored to:
· Prevent discriminatory remarks, harassment, bullying, threats of violence and other behavior that is unacceptable at the workplace;
· Request that employees identify that their comments are their personal opinions and do not represent their employers’ official positions on any specific issues; and
· Request that employees do not disclose trade secrets, publish internal reports, provide tips based on inside information or participate in other activities that may be considered inside trading.
Employers wishing to manage their online reputation should refrain from participating in controversial practices such as requiring employees to disclose their personal social media login information. Many states have laws prohibiting such conduct by employers.
If you haven’t seen it yet, LinkedIn has a brand new look! The new layout is closer to what we are accustomed to seeing in our use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. The old layout was what I would consider choppy and a bit distracting. Ad’s and suggestions consumed a large portion of the pages and quite frankly derailed a users focus to the point of coming up for air an hour later wondering what it is you came for and what you actually accomplished.
The new layout makes visual sense and seemingly has a much better flow. The annoying ads and suggested contacts are now in one place. Now I come and actually achieve what I set out to get done. Five of the the new layout features that I really like include:
- “Always on top” Navigational menu at the top menu bar. This menu doesn’t disappear if you cease to hover over it and sub menus don’t just pop up.
- Improved navigational set up making it easier to see and search your network.
- Clear count of your connections. The old layout of the network connections page didn’t list how many connections you had not to mention you had to keep turning the page for the next 10 people. The new layout is a continuous scrolling list that make it easy to find someone, message them or disconnect from them.
- The job list for the companies you follow and for the preferences you set up are easy to see, change and save. Also, the “Post a job” feature is in a place where it finally makes sense.
- All of the notifications are easy to see, respond to when YOU want to respond to them instead of taking up real estate on the side bar of your profile page.
Long story short is that I approve of the new layout. I find it easy to navigate around and it is inviting. It takes your mind off the choppiness of the layout and puts it on finding what you came for. Bravo LinkedIn. It’s about time you caught up with the times.
Recently we have been working on a video that will be shown to our new hire employees. This is a big undertaking and involves many people within the organization. Producing a video is a time consuming project that takes quite a bit of organization and cooperation to complete. This is a project that really shouldn’t be thrown together in an afternoon. As we are finding out the 5 P’s really do apply to creating a quality, well organized video. As you may be aware, the 5 P’s are:
Everyone has a different way to get ready to record a video. Some people like to have notes handy. Other people need every word on cue cards and some people prepare while rehearsing in the mirror. The point here is that you need to prepare and give a significant amount of thought to what you are about to put together. Here is a helpful article with some great tips to help get you started.
According to Wikipedia, spam is nothing more than junk mail sent via email which is unsolicited and many times unwanted. Sending unsolicited email is nothing new to marketers, it’s just a new format designed to try and elicit new sales and net new business. If you are anything like me, you pretty much hate the influx of strange emails. I go so far as to set up email filters for the really annoying ones that pulls it out of my inbox and into my trash before I can even lay eyes on it. I have enough to do without worrying about spending time reading email for products and “solutions” that I have no intention of buying. Although I can spot spam a million miles away, not everyone can and that can be very dangerous to your pocketbook since some of these criminals sending such emails are cunning and very convincing! Here are a few tips for recognizing and handling email spam and those sending them.
So you’ve decided to create a video. Good for you! The first thing you need to do is to craft a plan with a clear focus that outlines how you intend to reach your audience while achieving your company’s goals and objectives. It doesn’t need to be rocket science but it does need to be laid out in a clear and simple plan that is easy to understand and gets right to the point so as not to lose the attention of your audience. When outlining your video it is important to identify what you want the viewer to know or do and design the video around this message. It might be necessary to do so in a multiple video series to make your message easier to digest. If you are new to video, start with a simple message and don’t get fancy until you’ve done a few and have the resources to do so.
A few rules of thumb when it comes to video creation are that it must be 1) entertaining, 2) educational or 3) emotional in order to have an impact on your intended audience. When you are crafting your video concept, start with a few of the simplest things while brainstorming. Some ideas that can prove to be a good starting point from which you can build on can be:
- Frequently asked questions
- Proper product usage
- A look behind the scenes of your organization
- Company Philanthropic efforts
- Holiday good will messages
As you brainstorm make sure to write down all of the ideas that are thrown out on the table. You may not use all of them now, however, you could certainly come back to them another time. Don’t throw out any suggestions.
Organizing your video
- If you have speaking roles in your video, create a script for people to follow. Impromptu messaging can be lengthy or take more time than you may have to get completed on time.
- Rehearse with your equipment. Write down details of where your camera should be placed for optimum video footage. Take into account the time of day, sun streaming in windows, clutter background noise and make sure your filming location is as optimum as possible at the time you shoot your video.
- Give some thought to how long you want your video to be. Most successful videos are two minutes or less. If the video is too long, you may lose your audience’s attention. This will effect scripting and the number of people that you can include. Write out your entire plan before you begin filming.
Video is a great way to reach your target audience and it can be a creative and fun project to grow your marketing efforts. Remember; Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.